Review of Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen

Originally Published June 2017 by the Midwest Book Review

Although mainly known as the chief rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, born in the year 1927, has lived an intriguing life, playing an important role in the establishment of the state of Israel. As the son of Rabbi David Cohen (1887-1972), the legendary Nazirite of Jerusalem, Rabbi Cohen grew up among some of Israel’s greatest rabbis. Destined to become a Nazirite until the age of sixteen, Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen studied under the influence of Rav Kook. During the 1948 War of Independence, Rabbi Cohen fought to defend the Old City of Jerusalem, until he was severely wounded and taken to Jordan as a prisoner of war. After his return he became Chief Rabbi of the Israel Air Force, and then governed as the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem with Teddy Kollek. Rabbi Cohen served as the Chief Rabbi of Haifa and President of their rabbinical courts for 36 years. The details of his achievements and captivating life in this biography are further encapsulated in excerpts of his diary, which include vivid details of the battles he fought in and his imprisonment in Jordan. The biographers, Rabbi Yedidya HaCohen is a disciple of Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, from whom he received rabbinical ordination. While Prof. Yechiel Frish is the President of Michlelet Shaanan (Shaanan College), a religious teachers training college established in 1951 near Haifa, Israel. “Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen: Between War and Peace” is an informed, comprehensive, and ultimately inspiring read from beginning to end and very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library collections.

Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen: Between War and Peace
Urim Publications, 2017

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